DONALDO PRESCOD Interview (April 2013 Feature)


Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you write….

Born in Boston but mainly grew up in California. I came to nyc to attend grad school at The New School for Drama where I earned an MFA in acting. As of last year I’ve started to write consistently and now I can’t stop. Right now I have a handful of ideas and hopefully when they’re done I’ll have more stories to tell. As far as why I write, I know one reason is the joy of springing new and original work to the stage.

Why did you write this play?

I wrote this play for various reasons:

1. Hip-hop right now is in a horrible place so it felt good to write about the days when it wasn’t commercial and had much more to offer.

2. The challenge of writing a period piece.

3. My obsession with turntabilists and the life of a deejay.

How did you find Blackboard?

Through the magnificent and beautiful Garlia Jones-Ly. I remember when she started Blackboard. We were still in grad school together. And to see it grow gives me nothing but joy.

What is important to you about a community of Black writers?

The fact that there’s a community. I truly feel our work hardly gets recognized or produced in nyc and knowing there’s a community to voice our work is more than needed.

How do you want people to feel after they have heard this play?

I want people to feel nostalgic of old New York and re-examine the music they listen to.


About blackboardplays

Familiar with the collectives for poets and other Black writers that had been created over the years and slightly envious of that sense of community, I became curious about a similar place for playwrights. I wanted to see Black playwrights, actors and directors excited over each others work and supporting each other. I was longing for a “home” as a Black playwright and wanted to see other Black artists in that home, not to be exclusive, but because there was a void. I was also eager to find other Black playwrights who shared a passion for the craft of storytelling. The stories of the Black community are diverse and are often hidden behind the blockbuster stereotyped versions. The non-artistic Black community, not involved in the writing of these stories, is yearning to see themselves in our stories and it is apart of my life’s work to ensure that happens. the cell is any artists’ dream: a new space that supports you as you grow, committed to new work and the art. This allows the writer to focus on the craft - to focus on their story. Nancy Manocherian and Kira Simring welcomed this idea with open arms and instantly became apart of what we later called “Blackboard Reading Series”. Every reading will conclude a twenty minute talk-back with the audience. Dialogue with the community is essential to what we want to do with the series. As we grow, there may be more readings a month, play festivals and of course productions. We want to nurture and develop new black playwrights for this generation! Thank You! Garlia Cornelia Jones Founder, Blackboard Reading Series
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